Shrimp Stuffed Eggplant

Commonly referred to as Eggplant Pirogues-eggplant hollowed out like the ubiquitous Cajun boat (pirogue), these eggplants are stuffed full of a mixture of smothered eggplant, vegetables and shrimp in Louisiana seasonings. They're baked to a golden brown and deliver an unparalleled South Louisiana treat. This is so delicious, you'll never believe how simple it is.
Prep Time30 mins
Cook Time1 hr
Total Time1 hr 30 mins
Course: Main Dish
Cuisine: Cajun, Creole
Keyword: stuffed eggplant
Servings: 6 Servings
Calories: 364kcal
Author: Sweet Daddy D

Here's What You Need

  • 1 pound medium shrimp peeled, de-veined and rinsed
  • 3-4 whole purple eggplants See Notes
  • 4 tablespoons Butter
  • 1 medium yellow onion chopped
  • 1/2 medium green pepper chopped
  • 2 stalks Celery chopped
  • 1 bunch green onions chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic chopped
  • 1 cup Seafood Stock
  • 1 cup seasoned bread crumbs
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire Sauce

Herb and Spice Blend

  • 1 teaspoon dry oregano
  • 1 teaspoon dry basil
  • ½ teaspoon dry thyme
  • 1 tablespoon creole seasoning plus some for the shrimp
  • 2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 tablespoon creole seasoning plus some for the shrimp

Here's What You Do

To prepare the eggplant

  • Slice whole eggplant lengthwise. Cut a cross hatch in the eggplant with a sharp utility knife and brush some olive oil over the eggplant. (See Recipe Notes)
  • Place the eggplant, cut side down on a baking rack and place in a preheated 400 degree oven for 30 to 40 minutes or until the eggplant meat is soft.
  • Allow to cool. Scoop out the meat, leaving about ¼ inch of the shell-resembling a little boat.
  • Chop the scooped-out eggplant and set aside.

Prepare the shrimp

  • Peel, de-vein and rinse the shrimp, then pat dry with paper towels.
  • Chop about ¾ of the shrimp into small pieces, leave the remainder whole.
  • Mix with some creole seasoning and set aside.

Prepare the stuffing

  • Heat butter in a dutch oven over medium high heat until bubbly.
  • Saute the onions, bell peppers and celery in the butter until beginning to caramelize, about 8 to 10 minutes.
  • Add the garlic and green onions and saute until aromatic, about 2 minutes.
  • Mix in about half of the Herb and Spice Blend and the bay leaves. Saute about 2 minutes.
  • Add in the chopped eggplant; reduce heat to medium, cover the dutch oven and slow simmer about 10 to 15 minutes.
  • Add the Worcestershire sauce and the stock, uncover and simmer for about 15 to 20 minutes until the eggplant is very soft and mash-able. (See Recipe Notes)
  • Add in the shrimp, mix well and saute until the shrimp start to turn pink, simmer about 5 to 10 minutes.
  • Stir in the breadcrumbs, starting with about half and adding more until you have the consistency of a filling.
  • Add in the rest of the Herb and Spice Blend, mix well.
  • Remove from heat, cover the dutch oven and let sit for about 5 minutes.
  • Remove the lid and allow the eggplant to cool about 15 minutes before stuffing. Remove bay leaves.

Stuff eggplant and bake

  • Preheat the oven to 350 degree.
  • With a spatula or wooden spoon, stuff the eggplant mixture into the eggplant halves, pushing to fill all the voids.
  • Once all the filling has been used, sprinkle some bread crumbs on top and place 2 or 3 small tabs of butter on top of each.
  • Place in the 350 degree oven and Bake until browning on top,

Notes

Use a purple (either Globe or Italian) eggplant for this recipe, and you could actually substitute zucchini with a slight change in the flavor profile.
Slice the eggplant lengthwise through the center of the stem. With a sharp knife, cut a crosshatch in the meat. This will help get some  olive oil into the eggplant for baking.  The trick is not using too much olive oil-the eggplant will soak it up and all of a sudden you've got way too much olive oil. Just a nice little brush all over the cut side will do the trick.
How long you'll need to smother the eggplant with the seasonings and the stock will depend on how tender the eggplant is to start. If you left it in the oven until it's very tender, it won't take long. If its a little tough or raw, it will take longer. Either way make sure to cook the eggplant until very tender before stuffing.
Remember that most commercial creole seasonings have a high salt content, so make sure that you taste the stuffing before you add any more salt.
 

Nutrition

Calories: 364kcal | Carbohydrates: 40g | Protein: 28g | Fat: 11g | Saturated Fat: 6g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 2g | Cholesterol: 177mg | Sodium: 1578mg | Potassium: 1070mg | Fiber: 13g | Sugar: 12g

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